19 September 2013 7:00 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

A version of this story first appeared in the Sept. 27 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Probably no institution has shaped the contours of modern American comedy more than a vest-pocket theater housed in a former massage parlor on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. Founded in 1974 as an outgrowth of an acting class taught by Gary Austin, a veteran of San Francisco's The Committee improv troupe, the Groundlings Theatre has launched hundreds of careers in TV and the movies. Since the casting of Larraine Newman in 1975, Groundlings alumni have profoundly influenced the direction of Saturday Night

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- Michael Walker

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